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The 2013 BRIT Awards – The Nominees

By on Friday, 11th January 2013 at 4:37 pm

Is there any point to the BRITs? Granted, it gives a certain demographic of London teenager the opportunity to sting Daddy for the eye-watering £70 ticket price, no doubt getting stuffed with half-term pizza and fructose syrup before spending three hours squealing loudly at microscopic effigies of their latest tabloid-endorsed musical crushes. But beyond that, does any vestige of musical credibility remain within the unhallowed, chart-obsessed recesses of the BRIT Award psyche?

A swift perusal of the nominations, released yesterday, would indicate: maybe, actually. The usual mega-selling suspects are there: Emeli Sandé, Mumford and Sons, Robbie Williams, Olly Murs. But look a little deeper and could there just be enough respect for the breakthrough, even the underground, so that beyond the face paint and lasers, there’s a bedrock of credibility?

Step forward Richard Hawley, the most unlikely of the entire nomination list, proving that the BRITs aren’t immune to a decent bit of ‘70s-throwback guitar action and heart-on-the-sleeve balladry from a bequiffed Yorkshireman. Plan B also deserves a shout for his unflinching portrayal of council estate life in ‘Ill Manors’, which still deserves to make more of an impact than it has.

Jessie Ware gathers two nods, a fine result for her this early in her career, single-handedly making 2011’s Critic’s Choice Award for her namesake Jessie J look ever more ridiculous. The more listeners turned on to her coolly urban soul, the better. Paloma Faith is also up for two gongs – British Female Solo is fair enough, but British Album of the Year for ‘Fall to Grace’, for a collection significantly worse than her début, is deeply suspect. British Group unoriginally throws up two previous Mercury Prize winners: unlikely media darlings alt-J, and minimalist electro-songsters the xx; Muse are nominated for the ninth (and tenth) time, with Mumford and One Direction predictably making up the numbers. A rum collection, if ever there was one, and despite the disparate yet singular talents of each, hardly a state-of-the-nation statement.

The British Single category is too depressing to analyse deeply. Suffice to say a more turgid collection of middle-of-the-road dross it’s difficult to conceive. Any list containing the execrable ‘Mama Do the Hump’ by Rizzle Kicks deserves to be encased in concrete and dropped into a very deep hole. Thankfully each of the British Breakthrough nominees have something to commend them, though surely Jake Bugg is the most extraordinary of the lot; his compellingly grizzled, world-weary, yet uplifting take on vintage blues in his debut album means he should have no problem in lifting the spotted statue next month.

Ironically, there’s far less to complain about the International (read: American) nominees. Perhaps it’s because we expect the USA to do bigness well, it’s difficult to complain about someone like Bruce Springsteen being nominated, although one wonders just how much pride of place a BRIT award would take on the dashboard of his pickup truck.

As always, it’s good to see producers, the guys behind the desk who really make the music, getting their opportunity to shine, although it seems somewhat unfair that Damon Albarn should be sharing their limelight – hasn’t he had enough of it by now? If the Albarn effect can be resisted, Paul Epworth should walk away with this one, although personally I prefer listening to his sister’s output to his. And what of Amy Winehouse and The Rolling Stones, both nominated, neither deservedly? Stop it, BRITs! Pick people who are more alive!

The 2013 BRITs take place on Wednesday the 20th of February at London’s O2 Arena. TGTF will be reporting, either from the event itself, or from somewhere else in London more interesting. Watch this space.

Who should win the British Brits, I reckon?

Male Solo: Richard Hawley
Female Solo: Jessie Ware
Breakthrough: Jake Bugg
Group: One Direction
Single: Alex Clare – ‘Too Close’
Album: Plan B – ‘Ill Manors’
Live: Coldplay
Producer: Paul Epworth

Full list of nominees after the jump.
Continue reading The 2013 BRIT Awards – The Nominees


Live Gig Videos: Damon Albarn plays two tracks from ‘Dr. Dee’ on Jools Holland

By on Wednesday, 9th May 2012 at 4:00 pm

Damon Albarn appeared on Jools Holland a couple nights ago. What did he perform? Tracks off his new album out this week, ‘Dr. Dee’, specifically ‘The Marvelous Dream’ and ‘O Spirit, Animate Us’. Watch both clips below.




Video of the Moment #739: Damon Albarn

By on Monday, 19th March 2012 at 6:00 pm

Blur frontman Damon Albarn (pictured above at their BRITs performance) has previewed a new song from his forthcoming album, ‘Dr. Dee’, out on the 7th of May on Parlophone. It’s called ‘Apple Carts’ and snippets of the song being recorded in the studio with a choir and orchestra, along with interviews with some of the people involved in making it happen. The album is described as follows: “[it] combines Albarn’s voice with early English choral and instrumentation alongside modern, West African and Renaissance sounds.” Have we intrigued you? Then watch the video below.



In the Post #86: Gorillaz featuring James Murphy and Andre 3000 – Do Ya Thing

By on Tuesday, 6th March 2012 at 12:00 pm

Outkast’s Andre 3000, LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and Blur’s Damon Albarn are all in one room. Genius ensues yes? Need I write more? Yes. It would be rude not too.

‘Do Ya Thing’ is upbeat and full of quirkiness. No, it’s not a ‘Clint Eastwood’ or a ‘Dare’, it’s more of a ‘Stylo’ (review here) in my eyes. No, it hasn’t got Bobby Womack in his immense coolness, but it has got a rhythm that will have your toes tapping at an alarming rate. “You wanna do it / but you don’t know what you doin’ baby / A-a-a-a-aha / you wanna feel it / but you don’t know what you’re feeling tonight!” What an epitomization of the wild party that Gorillaz seem to be post-‘Plastic Beach’, with Andre 3000 giving an extremely Outkast touch to the proceeding with his ridiculously quick lyrics.

The synths are classic Gorillaz: they manage to be exciting without being exciting in the slightest. However, the level of effort seems to be low at best. It’s as if the three of them just sat in a room, got a repeated beat and did their thing (excuse the pun.)

Not anything special by any stretch of the imagination, but something to be cherished seeing as it is Gorillaz and a pair of other A-listers.


This song is available free for download from this Converse link. Oddly, this song appears to be directly linked to a campaign for a Gorillaz-themed, limited edition series of Converse Chuck Taylor trainers (see more here).



Live Review: The Gorillaz at London’s Roundhouse – Thursday 29th April 2010

By on Friday, 30th April 2010 at 2:44 am

Just got in from a rather sensational Gorillaz gig at the Roundhouse in London’s Camden tonight. I’ve always been a fan of their singles, but not so much their album tracks so it was with some trepidation that I trekked from Bristol after work to make it in time to see Damon Albarn’s creations.

It’s been five years since the bands last UK performances, and whilst Albarn has been very busy (what with reuniting his old brit-pop chums Blur), his alter-egos have been resting until earlier this year they released second album, Plastic Beach. Originally the “first animated band”, 2-D, Noodle, Murdoc and Russel are now relegated to just being (rather amazing) projections behind the live band.

All dressed in sailors outfits, the band (including The Clash’ Mick Jones and Paul Simonon) were joined by a raft of legendary stars (Mos Def, Bobby Womack, Gruff Rhys, Bashy, Kano, De La Soul, Roses Gabor and Shaun Ryder) from Plastic Beach. Snoop Dogg joined in a video that had him dressed to the nines as a Naval Admiral, due to his ongoing UK visa issues.

Frankly, there were so many highlights it’s hard to pick one out – so much of the music is stuff I’d never normally go and see, but yet somehow it works to see The Lebanese National Orchestra for Oriental Arabic Music mixed with Kano and Bashy on the same track before having Shaun Ryder being his usual slightly unhinged self.

Each track had its own animations, from lush, 3D animations for “Welcome To The World Of The Plastic Beach” to old school war footage via animations and videos of beer going down the drain). I can’t help but feel that the whole production was better with a bigger focus on the music rather than the animations / 3D extravaganza that previously used to be the focus of a Gorillaz live show.

The band will be playing again on Friday night, and the gig will be streamed on MTV. Read the Guardian’s review here and NME’s review here.

After the jump: photos and full setlist.
Continue reading Live Review: The Gorillaz at London’s Roundhouse – Thursday 29th April 2010


Weekly Roundup: 18th January 2009

By on Sunday, 18th January 2009 at 11:13 pm

This week has certainly been jam packed with music news – here’s a roundup of the hot headlines hitting the press this week!

Russell Brand (side)Pete Doherty has announced his forthcoming solo album will be released on March 16th and will be titled ‘Grace/Wastelands’. A debut single from the twelve-track album will be released March 9th, called ‘Last of the English Roses’. Blur guitarist, Graham Coxon, and singer-songwriter, Dot Allison, are just some of the names Doherty has collaborated with on the new album.

Boy George was sentenced to 15 months in prison on Friday after being charged with false imprisonment. The former Culture Club singer is said to have handcuffed and beaten a male escort at his East London flat in April of 2007. Boy George, real name George O’Dowd, denies all charges.

Katy Perry (pictured top) and her smash hit ‘I Kissed A Girl’ were incorrectly awarded the gong for Best International Song at the NRJ Awards in Cannes. The trophy was actually intended for Rihanna and her hit song ‘Disturbia’, but Perry was mistakely announced as the winner at the famous French award show.

Famous London music venue, The Astoria, closed it’s doors for good this Friday to make way for the new Crossrail transportation project. The famous venue, which will be completely demolished, has hosted a range of iconic gigs from The Rolling Stones, to Nirvana, to Radiohead.

Lady GaGaRussell Brand (pictured top right) is rumoured to be releasing a novelty one-off single with the help of music mogul, Simon Cowell. The song, titled ‘The Chugga Chugga Song’, even comes complete with a supposed dance routine. Syco Records were apparently made aware of the song after Russell played the track on his now defunct Radio 2 show.

Damon Albarn has expressed concern over the upcoming Blur reunion gigs at Hyde Park this July. Following his playing of a 1997 live Blur session on Radio 1 this week, Damon said “I’m going to have to work hard to get back to that standard.”.

Lady GaGa (pictured left) is number one for the second week in a row this Sunday with hit track, ‘Just Dance’. The New York songstress is proving a big hit with music fans – her album, ‘The Fame’ is also notching at an impressive number three in this week’s album charts.

And finally, check out the new music video for the week – ‘Fonz’, by the brilliant Eugene McGuinness. The track, which is taken from his acclaimed self-titled album, is set to be released next month (February 23rd).


Russell Brand photo is taken from The Street Circus’ flickr stream under the Creative Commons license.


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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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